Russia-Ukraine war live: Kyiv residents urged to shelter in late-night drone attack targeting infrastructure | Ukraine

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Explosions heard in Kyiv

Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv were urged to head to air raid shelters early on Friday as sirens wailed across the city, a day after Russia carried out the biggest aerial assault since it started the war in February, Reuters reports.

Shortly after 2:00 am Kyiv’s city government issued an alert on its Telegram messaging app channel about the air raid sirens and called on residents to proceed to shelters. A Reuters witness 20 km (12 miles) south of Kyiv heard several explosions and the sound of anti-aircraft fire.

Olekskiy Kuleba, governor of Kyiv region, said on Telegram that an “attack by drones” was under way. A few hours later, he said that the attack had targeted infrastructure and that there were no casualties.

Kuleba wrote on Telegram: “Night attack by martyr drones. Russia once again targeted our infrastructure facilities. Air defence forces repelled drones. Previously, there are no hits. Emergency services are working at the crash site.”

Key events

European gas prices fall to pre-Ukraine war level

Jasper Jolly

Jasper Jolly

European gas prices have dipped to a level last seen before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February, after warmer weather across the continent eased concerns over shortages.

The month-ahead European gas future contract dropped as low as €76.78 per megawatt hour on Wednesday, the lowest level in 10 months, before closing higher at €83.70, according to Refinitiv, a data company.

The invasion roiled global energy markets and forced European countries, including industrial powerhouse Germany, to look for alternative suppliers to those funding the Kremlin. Europe had continued to rely on Russian gas even after its 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in a video address on Thursday night, said air commands in central, southern, eastern and western Ukraine repelled 54 Russian missiles and 11 drones on Thursday.

Zelenskiy acknowledged that most regions were suffering power outages. The areas where loss of power was “especially difficult” included the capital Kyiv, Odesa and Kherson in the south and surrounding regions, and the region around Lviv near the western border with Poland, Zelenskiy said.

“But this is nothing compared with what could have happened if it were not for our heroic anti-aircraft gunners and air defence,” he said.

Reuters footage on Thursday showed emergency workers searching through the smouldering wreckage of homes in Kyiv destroyed by a blast and smoke trails of missiles in the sky. Officials had earlier said more than 120 missiles were fired during Thursday’s assault.

More than 18 residential buildings and 10 critical infrastructure installations were destroyed in the latest attacks, the defence ministry said in a statement.

Britain sending metal detectors and bomb de-activation kits to Ukraine

Britain said on Friday it has given Ukraine more than 1,000 metal detectors and 100 kits to deactivate bombs to help clear minefields in the latest instance of military support.

“Russia’s use of landmines and targeting of civilian infrastructure underline the shocking cruelty of Putin’s invasion,” British defence minister Ben Wallace said in a statement.

“This latest package of UK support will help Ukraine safely clear land and buildings as it reclaims its rightful territory.”

The metal detectors, made by German firm Vallon, can help troops clear safe routes on roads and paths by helping to remove explosive hazards, the defence ministry said, while the kits can de-arm the fuse from unexploded bombs.

President Maia Sandu, elected in 2020 on a pro-European and anti-corruption platform, expressed hopes on Thursday that crisis-hit Moldova would join the European Union before 2030.

“My wishes are very ambitious,” Sandu said in remarks carried on the Moldova-1 public television channel. “I think we must become a member of the European Union by the end of this decade.”

The EU accepted Moldova as a membership candidate in June, when it extended the same status to neighbouring Ukraine. It was a diplomatic triumph for Sandu, whose country is one of Europe’s poorest and facing numerous economic struggles.

Trees are covered by frost in downtown Chisinau, Moldova, 20 December 2022.
Trees are covered by frost in downtown Chisinau, Moldova, 20 December 2022. Photograph: Dumitru Doru/EPA

Moldova has been striving to wean itself off Russian gas as it deals with power cuts partly caused by Moscow’s attacks on neighboring Ukraine’s power infrastructure. It also faces protests over soaring inflation.

In a sign of progress Wednesday, Moldovan state utilities firm Energocom announced a deal for Romania’s Nuclearelectrica to supply enough electricity to make up 80% of anticipated shortfalls in January 2023.

Romanian power producers have been granted permission to sell electricity to Moldova at 450 lei per megawatt hour, under a special cap due to the war in Ukraine.

Five drones recorded in late-night attack on Kyiv – Kyiv City Military Administration

The Kyiv City Military Administration has just posted its preliminary information about the attack.

It said on Telegram that five Shahed drones entered Kyiv’s airspice and that all were destroyed by Ukrainian air defence, but barrage munitions from one of the drones hit an administrative building in Holosiiv, partially destroying the building and damaging the windows of a nearby residential building.

Explosions heard in Kyiv

Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv were urged to head to air raid shelters early on Friday as sirens wailed across the city, a day after Russia carried out the biggest aerial assault since it started the war in February, Reuters reports.

Shortly after 2:00 am Kyiv’s city government issued an alert on its Telegram messaging app channel about the air raid sirens and called on residents to proceed to shelters. A Reuters witness 20 km (12 miles) south of Kyiv heard several explosions and the sound of anti-aircraft fire.

Olekskiy Kuleba, governor of Kyiv region, said on Telegram that an “attack by drones” was under way. A few hours later, he said that the attack had targeted infrastructure and that there were no casualties.

Kuleba wrote on Telegram: “Night attack by martyr drones. Russia once again targeted our infrastructure facilities. Air defence forces repelled drones. Previously, there are no hits. Emergency services are working at the crash site.”

Summary and welcome

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. In the very early hours of Friday morning, air raid alarms sounded in Kyiv, barely a day after Russia unleashed a massive missile strike on cities across the country. Several explosions were heard on Friday morning as residents were urged to remain in shelters.

In a post at 5am, Kyiv governor Oleksiy Kuleba said on Telegram that the attack targeted infrastructure and that there were no casualties.

My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest developments as they happen.

Here is a summary of the news from the last 24 hours:

  • The state-run Belarus news agency BelTA reported that a Ukrainian S-300 missile had fallen on to the territory of Belarus during one of Russia’s largest missile attacks against Ukraine since the start of the war.

  • The Ukrainian ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry in Minsk to receive a formal protest after the spokesperson for the ministry of foreign affairs said the missile landing on Belarussian soil was “extremely serious”.

  • Russia launched a wave of missile attacks across Ukraine on Thursday morning, with Ukraine’s air force claiming it shot down 54 Russian winged cruise missiles out of 69 launched into Ukraine from Rostov in Russia, the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea.

  • The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, stated that three people were known to have been injured in the capital, including a 14-year-old girl. Two people had been rescued from a private house that had been struck by debris. Klitschko said 40% of the capital’s consumers were without electricity after the missile attack.

  • Italy’s prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, pledged that Rome would continue to help Kyiv’s war effort and that she would visit before the end of February.

  • The UK will commit £2.3bn in aid to Ukraine in 2023, said the UK’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace.

  • Kazakhstan was preparing to deport a Russian security officer who fled his country because he objected to the invasion of Ukraine and hoped to find refuge in the west, his wife said on Thursday. As an officer of the Federal Protective Service (FSO), tasked with protecting the Russian president, Major Mikhail Zhilin, 36, was barred from leaving Russia and illegally crossed into Kazakhstan in September when it became clear he could be sent to Ukraine.

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